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Hello major airports, goodbye regional airports? Recent changes in European and US low-cost airline airport choice

Frédéric Dobruszkes, Moshe Givoni and Timothy Vowles

ULB Institutional Repository from ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles

Abstract: Low-cost carriers (LCCs) are assumed to adopt a certain business model in which an important element is the concentration of services at secondary and regional airports. Yet, evidence suggests that increasingly LCCs also establish themselves in what can be considered the major airports. This raises the question of whether LCCs are changing their business model and adopting practices associated with the traditional, incumbent airlines, and if so what might cause such change. Based on categorization of airports and using OAG flight data the US and European markets are investigated. Focusing on several LCCs, with more attention given to Southwest and Ryanair, their profile of operation with respect to the type of airports used is analysed for a period of between 15 to 25 years and up to 2015. The results clearly indicate that LCCs are increasing their operations from major airports, while generally continuing their growth and expansion strategy. The main implication of which is the increase in direct competition between LCCs and traditional airlines while the impacts of this change on the smaller airports are not clear yet and need to be investigated further.

Keywords: Low-cost airlines; Low-cost carriers; Airports; Europe; USA (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
Note: SCOPUS: ar.j
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Published in: Journal of air transport management (2017) v.59,p.50-62

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Handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/239911